Saturday, October 29, 2016

Scary Scrappy Saturday

Whether or not you enjoy Halloween, I hope you have at least been enjoying a wonderful autumn season here in the northern hemisphere. As for Halloween - well, I love the season but am not too fond of the day. It will be 10 years ago this Halloween that my mother died. She hated Halloween, and her 78th birthday would have been on that November 4 in 2006. So those 5 days from Oct 31 - Nov 31 are always ironic and bittersweet for me now with Halloween, Day of the Dead, All Souls Day and her birthday.

But anyway, let’s talk about sewing and quilting and fun stuff.

I finished all my yellow 16-patch blocks with the four black and white center squares. Four of them were done in darker tones, and the rest were either light/bright or mixed.

And then, of course, there was a yellow litter of cats. This will be in the third and final kitty quilt. I still have green, purple and pink litters to make.

Collage above shows my one Dresden and four string blocks on top. Along the bottom there are the 8 RSC blocks, the litter of kitties above (one mama and 12 kittens), then one yellow crayon block and the 10 16-patch blocks.  Oh, I did three yellow improvs, too, but forgot to add them into my collage. So, this month my total is 40, but I did make 3 yellow vintage sheet blocks back in August (which I didn’t count) when I pieced that top, so there are really 43. Not bad considering I was also doing other-color kitties, the Cozy Christmas blocks, and pieced Magic Carpet for my son.

It keeps me off the streets!

Why not come and visit us over at Angela’s Rainbow Scrap Challenge?

Cathy maroon

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Another (Cat) Quilt Done!

What a good week this has been!

On Monday, my granddaughter Lauren had school off (she’s 12), so we got to have her with us all day. I had hoped to have her help me pick the last of the carrots and potatoes in the garden, but it was cold and rainy, so we opted for Plan B.  Which, really, was Plan A all along, LOL.  We sewed. Of course, we did go out to lunch with Grandpa, but other than that, we sewed.

I gave Lauren a sewing machine a couple years ago, and she brought it along. She already had a project in mind to make. She attends a cheer/dance/gymnastics school locally called Gravity Dance Center and wanted to make a pillow to take there.  I set her loose with my scraps and she selected the school colors of chartreuse and gray, from which she cut 2.5” squares. After playing with a layout, Lauren sewed them all together, then I quilted it very simply for her on my machine. She made the back (with opening) of the pillow and sewed it all together. It was a 14” pillow form, and we purposely made it a bit small so it would be snug. It was perfect!!

Lauren and her Gravity Pillow!

While she sewed, I worked on another kitty litter (I should probably call it a litter of kitties instead of kitty litter, LOL). This is litter #3 of 6 for the third Kitty Quilt.

And while we’re on the subject of kitties, I finished Kitty Quilt #2 (For DGD London). This is my Finish Along Quarter 4  Goal #3. Three quilts finished up this month!! YAY!!

This quilt has the only brown litter and the only teal litter in it. It has the same kitty backing fabric as the one I finished earlier in the month.

I also finished piecing the blocks for my Cozy Christmas Quilt and will sew on the borders next. Color me disappointed when I learned I forgot to include it in my Q4 Finish-Along list, because this one will be done before Christmas. But oh well.

Tomorrow I begin quilting my cousin Kim’s red, white and black quilt. Once that is done, I’ll probably begin quilting Magic Carpet for son Shane.

Today, Thursday, is one of my hubby Bruce’s days off, and we took the opportunity today to get the final paperwork signed and notarized for me to pull my Siemens pension and roll it into my IRA. It was an unexpected surprise that I may have mentioned before. It will more than make up for what we are spending on the remodel.

We also loaded up our antique Dutch sideboard and took it to our favorite antique store, Capital City Antiques in Salt Lake. It’s now for sale on consignment, and they (the experts) priced it at a level that pleasantly surprised us. If it sells - and they are pretty confident it will soon - we’ll get much more than anticipated. Of course we’re not counting any ducks yet.....  But all this is to say that our living room is pretty much emptied out now. We have a couch to take to the thrift store next week, and it will be virtually empty. The painting can begin in earnest now that we have access to walls (LOL). It will go quickly. And then there is the hallway, and the doors. We will add crown molding and new baseboards, but they’ll all be painted before installing. This weekend the fireplace gets grouted and we begin ripping up carpet.

I’m also linking up to Amanda’s Finish it up Friday!

Talk to you on Saturday for Rainbow Scrap Saturday!!

Cathy maroon

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Busy Week - and a Finish!

This was another busy week, which was no surprise. Between the living room remodel, the garden, quilting, family and errands ..... whew!  This is a busy autumn, and the weather this week was just sensational.

Yesterday my cousin Kim was over (she won’t be here for our usual Sunday sewing) and we basted two quilts - one was her black, white and red one and the other was my black and purple one. More on those as they’re quilted. Anyway, after they were done, we went out to lunch and then stopped to enjoy some lattes. It was such a perfectly bright afternoon, and as we were sitting in the coffee shop, we looked outside and a car parked right outside in front of us was plugged in. An actual electrical cord ran from the front grille to the building’s outside electrical outlet. Of course I’ve heard of electric cars, but I hadn’t seen one until then. It was a Nissan Leaf. Ha! A perfect autumn sighting. A sign of things to come. We both laughed that we would remember this day; something that is sure to be so common in the future was so charmingly futuristic to us that afternoon. In telling DH about it last evening, he said that there are regular charging stations in downtown Salt Lake for electric cars. I guess I’ve been living under a rock!

While we were basting our quilts, the fireplace guys were installing our new gas fireplace insert. I snapped a quick picture of course.

That is a first coat of paint around some of it, but most of what you see will be covered up by the fireplace trim and mantel. Yeah, the picture makes it look like sixteen different shades, but it’s not. And I have to wipe off the workers' sooty hand marks before I paint the second coat. Hubby will be finishing up the wiring this weekend, I will start painting more living room walls, and our contractor Jeff has to finish leveling out the floor in front of the fireplace and then do the hearth bricks. Then the carpenter can start building the custom cabinets.

But let’s move on to yellow - the color of the month for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. I finished my eight 9” blocks, doing a slight variation on Angela’s suggested pattern.

And then I sewed all the rows together, and the top of my 2016 RSC Sampler Flimsy is done!  It is now in line to be quilted.... but there are three ahead of it. One of the three is the second kitty quilt, which is 5/6 done.  Join us over at Angela’s So Scrappy blog to see more rainbow goodness today!

And speaking of quilting the second kitty quilt, I had a helper when I was working on it on Thursday. Darla was patient for a long time while I worked, but finally she’d had enough and demanded that I stop so she could snuggle and so I would pay some attention to her.

Darla on Kitty Quilt #2 for DGD London
The FIRST kitty quilt is done, and this post also serves as my official announcement post for  my Quarter 4 Finish-Along goals. This was goal #2 on my Finish-Along list, which you can see here.
Goal 2; Kitty Quilt #1
So, this quilt is for DGD Remington. It has kitties in red, blue, purple, green and orange . The 3 kitty quilts I’m making will all be backed with the cute kitty print with the blue background. This was quilted with free-form loops. I’m all about easy quilting!

Alfie wanted me to tell you about the indignities he suffered last month when he went to the vets to have his teeth cleaned. I had promised to tell you about it a couple weeks ago, but forgot, and he has been nagging me constantly.  Yes, his teeth are now sparkly white and his gums totally healed and free of gingivitis; however, a portion of his paw was shaved for the IV. It has mostly grown back, but here we see evidence of the humiliating shaved patch on his forepaw. Alfie is not sure what else may have happened while he was “out”, but there is an ongoing investigation. Or so he claims.

Finally, I have some yellow/gold 16-patch and improv blocks to show next week. They’re done but I didn’t get pictures. I have one quilt planned for the 90 16-patch blocks I made this year, and two quilts planned (one is even started) from the improv blocks. I’ll show those next week too. My studio is undergoing a major upheaval (general cleaning and new furniture), so I’ve not been too good about getting pictures this week.

Linking up to:
Rainbow Scrap Challenge
2016 Finish-Along (4th Quarter Goals)

Cathy maroon

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Mellow Yellow and a Quilt Finish!

The Mellow Yellow is ME. I am mellow because I’m so proud of myself that I didn’t lose my temper while spending way too long (like a couple hours or more) trying to set up my iCloud photo sharing between my iMac, iPad and iPhone. I am so sick of having to take pix on multiple devices and/or email them back and forth...... and then things change whenever there is a major update. I finally did it. A computer geek I am NOT. Fingers crossed.

Since I posted my 4th Quarter Finish Along goals yesterday, I want to start off by showing you the first finish of this quarter. Aria. Our model today is Alfalfa.

Once the quilt was back from the quilter on October 3, all I had to do was trim and bind it. Here is a close-up of their quilting. The pattern is a paisley and flower, which I thought was appropriate for the fabric.

And then, since I was taking pictures, both cats had to jump up and get their photos taken. At one point, Alfie started grooming Darla. That went on until he either got a bit playful or rough or Darla had had enough. Anyway, just like human kids, the nice play turned into a fight (claws retracted). I got a picture or two of them at that point, not realizing until later that I caught Darla in mid-somersault. I love when they do that!!

Anyway, Aria was Goal #1 on my Q4 Finish-Along list (shown here).

This week I did manage to get four golden 16-patch blocks. Bad pic, but it’s all I have.

I threw a few peach scraps in there, in the spirit of the sunrise (or was it sunset?) colors. No matter. The bright and pastel yellows are coming up next week, but I wanted to hold off until I had made my final blocks for the RSC Sampler Quilt.

I’m linking up to the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, too, so why not come check out the fun?

My cousin Kim sews with me every Sunday. Last weekend she finished piecing another quilt top. This one is for her other granddaughter Zoey, who is six and picked out the colors herself. I think she has rather sophisticated taste for a 6-year old!

Kim will add borders this weekend, and then we will baste it sometime (with construction going on here on the weekend, that may be problematic). Isn’t it gorgeous???

Finally, I made my 9th block for the Cozy Christmas Sew-Along; the holly. I still have to add all the sashings, but will probably do that tomorrow.

Oops, I forgot to crop and do some photo editing, but oh well. Besides going crazy with the computer this afternoon, my morning was spent running to Home Depot (to return the extra electrical and media components, a credit that totaled $140) and then heading to Sherwin-Williams to buy paint for the living room and hallway (spent $98 of the aforementioned $140,  even with a contractor discount), and then to Trader Joe’s (pumpkin scone mix, Pumpkin O’s cereal, and peaches and pears). And that used up most of the last of the credit, LOL!!! Our contractor Jeff is adding the tile/stone to the fireplace this weekend. The floors are here in boxes and are acclimating for the next 10 days. This whole construction thing seems to be clipping right along. Either I’ve grown patient in my old age, or...... or what? I think I’ve just grown patient in my old age, LOL!!

Cathy maroon

Friday, October 14, 2016

Quarter 4 Finish-Along Goals

I’m running out of time to list my 4th quarter goals for the 2016 Finish-Along, so here I am sliding in under the wire by a day or two.

Last quarter I only finished one of my four goals, and I even did a post about it (my Notting Hill quilt, here). But then I forgot to link up to the 3rd Quarter Linky Party. Just so much going on....  But I am determined to stick to the program, LOL.  Without further ado.....

1.   Aria Quilt
Edited to add: Finished. Post is HERE.

This finish didn’t make it into last quarter, but only by a few days. I got it back on Oct. 3 or so, then trimmed and bound it. It is now done, but I will do an official post about it next week.

2.  Cat Quilt for Remington
Edited to add: Finished. Post is Here.

The below quilt, pictured when it was just basted, is almost ready to be revealed. It will be shown in its own post later this month.

3.  Cat Quilt for London.
London’s quilt is basted and will be quilted by me this weekend. Reveal post will be after numbers one and two.
Edited to Add:  Finished. Post is Here.

4.  Cat Quilt for Abbie - right now it’s just a pile of cat squares; you can actually check back on my blog to see the yellow litter (yellow is not in either of the above quilts).  This was a later addition to my Must Make Cat Quilts because I didn’t know until last month that Abbie was in love with cats!!
Edited to Add:  Finished. Post is  HERE.

5.  Magic Carpet Quilt for Shane
Edited to Add:  Finished.  Post is HERE.

This quilt top was so much fun to piece! It’s ready to be basted and quilted.

6.  Vintage Sheet Rainbow Rail Fence

This top is also pieced and ready to be basted and quilted. I’d wanted to do a vintage sheet quilt for a long time, so used this year’s Rainbow Scrap Challenge as an opportunity to work with my sheet scraps. I rather like it!

7.   Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler
Edited to add: Finished!  Post is Here.

This one is a column-along quilt. The tenth and final column will be a yellow one which I’ll sew up as soon as it’s announced. Not pictured are the red, green and gray columns, and the blue column is folded up at the foot of the teal and pink columns.

8.   Christmas Quilt for Mike
Edited to add: Finished! Post is HERE.

This is a deer-themed printed quilt top from Pattern Jam. The green and black polka dots will be thin and thick borders. The newsprint fabric will be the backing. This will be for one of my dear sons-in-law Mike, who is a hunter.  My other SIL is on assignment overseas, so he will get a quilt next year.

9.  Petals for Kim
Edited to add:  Finished! Post is HERE

My daughter-in-law Kim picked out the pattern and the Bonnie & Camille fabrics. These orange peels need to be machine appliqu├ęd to the blocks, then stitched together, etc. Should be a quick and easy make for Christmas.

10. Ryan’s Manly Quilt.
Updated to add: Finished!  Post is HERE.

Unlike my artist son Shane (who picked out the colors of his Magic Carpet quilt above), Ryan is more comfortable with darker, more sedate colors. This fabric is Black Tie Affair by Basic Grey for Moda.

11.  Cozy Christmas
Updated to add: Finished! Posted HERE.

Right now I’m participating in the Cozy Christmas Quilt Along. I plan to finish all four blocks, the borders, etc. and give it as a Christmas present.

This quarter, I am confident that I will finish at least 80% of this list, as they are slated as Christmas gifts.  Then I can start the new year with very little on my plate!!  YAY!!

I’m linking up to the 4th Quarter Goals for the 2016 Finish Along. Why not hop over and see what others have planned?

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Golden Sewing Opportunities

This month at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, our colors are golden - yellows, golds through yellow-oranges, and it is a perfect opportunity to use up those scraps that have been breeding  collecting in our boxes and bins. And a perfect opportunity to see some gorgeous eye candy over at Angela’s So Scrappy blog because it’s Scrappy Saturday!

For my part, I was able to finish up a yellow and gold Dresden and a Mama Cat with her litter of kittens.

The Dresden is on a pale pink background and finishes up the 20 I needed for a quilt. Hopefully I can get that top pieced this week.

As for the cats and kittens, two tops are pieced, and this is the second litter (of 6) for the third quilt. All are for my granddaughters for Christmas. And yes, sometimes I dream about these cats in my sleep!!

My Aria quilt is back from the quilter! We picked it up this week. Below is a picture after trimming but before binding. It is actually all done now, and I took a series of pictures of it on our bed, where it now resides. But I will save those for the Big Reveal when I announce it as my first finish of the second quarter for the 2016 Finish-Along. That’ll probably be next week.

And I finished my Cozy Christmas block for this week; the cup of cocoa with marshmallows. I still need to embroider some “steam”. Here it is pictured (just pinned, not sewn together) with the Gingerbread Man from last week, whose buttons are also just pinned on for the picture. Eight blocks down, four to go. And those four are all cut out......

I’m going to keep this post brief. The contractor is due here in about an hour to begin building the new wall, and I have to hop on my exercise bike and then shower before he gets here. Then I can sew all day!  YAY!!!!

Cathy maroon

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Some Fun Stuff

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a mid-week post, but so much is going on that I just had to slow down for a moment and share.

First, I wanted to give all my crazy quilting and/or embroidery friends a heads up that the special Holiday issue of Crazy Quilt Quarterly has been published. You can order it HERE in either printed or digital format, or both.

It’s another fun issue and focuses, as you might imagine, on the Holiday Season (mostly Christmas). There are some great patterns and tutorials as always. Why not order your copy now??

I got a call this morning that my Aria quilt was ready at the quilter’s. So, off we (Bruce and I) ran. He took a comp day today for working so much last week, so he is home with me today and tomorrow.

Anyway, freeway closure notwithstanding (a truck full of ammonium nitrate flipped over, so you can imagine their caution), we drove to get it. On the way home we stopped at Costco for lunch and a couple things, then at Trader Joe’s to stock up on All Things Pumpkin. That would include (imagine my best Bubba Gump voice....) pumpkin scone mix, pumpkin ravioli, Pumpkin O’s cereal, pumpkin spice muffin mix, pumpkin granola, pumpkin spice oatmeal.....

Back to the quilt...... I still have to bind it.  So, it didn’t make it in time for the Quarter 3 Finish Along goals, but will be the first one ticked off on my Quarter 4 goal list!!

Construction update: contractor will begin building new wall this week. Floors ordered and paid for (2 weeks to come in, two weeks to sit and acclimate); fireplace tile ordered and paid for (2 weeks to come in). That will be installed pretty much the same time as the fireplace insert.  We are going to get a big dumpster delivered to take away all the old brick, carpets, fireplace stuff, and all the other broken furniture and junk we have had back in our backyard hidey-hole for a year.

And I had another good surprise. When I left my former employer Siemens about 8 years ago, it was my understanding that the old pension plan was rolled into our IRAs. But I must’ve missed something (and I am usually a financial whiz). Anyway, I got an official package yesterday to let me know that I have a one-time opportunity this fall to roll my pension plan monies into my private IRA. Really? It’s way more than the cost of our remodel (including planned new furniture), so it looks like someone is watching out for me! Back into the IRA savings it will go, and I am happy as a clam! So why are clams happy anyway?

Until Saturday,
Cathy maroon

Saturday, October 1, 2016

And Just Like That..... It’s October!

Another month means another color at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. But since today is just the first of October, all I have is a recap of my reds in September and a recap of my busy sewing week.  But you can join us over at So Scrappy to see what everyone else is up to!

Well, this isn’t really everything, but it will do.  There were actually THREE litters of red cats, two of which have been sewn with other colors into quilt tops. More on that in a moment.  Last week I showed you my red Dresden, and all the other colorful Dresdens pinned up on my design wall.  With the final block for October, the top will be complete.

In the lower left of the above picture, you can see four 8” strip blocks I made from reds. Those are going to join the two blue and one pink that I made earlier in the year; strip blocks will be one of my projects for 2017.  Then (bottom right) there are the 10 16-patch blocks, bringing my total to 90, and finally (center, with dark background) the 8 - 8” improv blocks I made. I love red and white. Maybe I should just mix all the red and white blocks together and make a red and white quilt!

So.... last week I showed you one of the pieced Kitten quilts. Here’s a memory refresh.

That quilt is still awaiting basting. But, I did piece the second quilt and basted it. That one is here (lying on the floor, pathetically), posing for a Picture of Proof.

The third quilt is in process and so far only has a red litter. This month I hope to piece as many of the remaining litters as I can; yellow, green, purple, pink and blue.

And speaking of purple, pink and blue, I got my son Shane’s Christmas Quilt top pieced this week. Shane picked the colors and pattern himself. It is called Magic Carpet by Christina Cameli. I tweaked the pattern in two places. First I enlarged the squares along the top and bottom so they are square (pattern has them as rectangles). Then I added a 3” black border on every side so that the squares float against the black. The flimsy measures 75"x89”.

Each color will be quilted with a matching thread (or black for the darkest purple). Not sure how I want to do it yet as I would like to keep the squares visually advancing. Any ideas or suggestions appreciated. I've been searching out what others have done and with the exception of 1-2, I’ve not been gobsmacked by any.....  Not that I could replicate any brilliant quilting anyway, but I do want to at least give it a try. The kitten quilts, on the other hand, will get simple loops or stippling.

So, from here on out until Christmas, my goal is to baste one quilt and quilt one quilt every week (not necessarily the same one, LOL). And in addition to that I need to keep up with the RSC (this is the last of the new colors for the year) and get the tops sewn of the remaining Christmas quilts. 

Oh, I also sewed this little guy this week. Mr. Cozy Gingerbread Man is block #7 of 12, so I am still on course there.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Finally, I plan to have some demolition pictures in my next post (either mid-week or next weekend). The demolition last weekend was minor; we (our general contractor and the fireplace guy) needed to see what they were dealing with, so only removed the fugly brass surround and knocked out a few bricks. We have now ordered the fireplace insert, and it will be installed on October 21. 

As it turns out, the brick along the entire end wall of the living room that we thought was a brick veneer is actually whole bricks - and stuck right to the exterior brick of the home. Weird. So, the protruding hearth/bench will be the only part that is demolished.  When the built-in cabinets on either side of the new fireplace (which will be more centered) are built, they  shouldn’t portrude out into the room much more than the existing bench. And once those are done, the place can be painted and the flooring laid. 

We have ordered the flooring already, as it will take a couple weeks to arrive and then need to acclimate itself in the living room (still in boxes) for a couple weeks. It’s going to be a lovely Thanksgiving! Not. But we are shooting to be done by early December. 

So, this week, the bench will be ripped out. The contractor will hang plastic to protect the rest of the house from dust (as if). Over the next three week he’ll build the false wall, run electrical, etc. Bruce and I are going to pick out the tile for the fireplace surround, and I have to sit and design a rough sketch of the the shelving and cabinets we want for the carpenter to begin his design process with. I do have a background in design (and did design our existing kitchen), so it will not be a problem. Yeah, I am Crazy by Design....

I am really enjoying this process! I’m learning a lot and have no reason to dust or vacuum the living room, LOL!

Cathy maroon